Liver Channel Cold Stagnation

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To state the obvious, this - Liver Channel Cold Stagnation - definitely refers to the Liver channel and is caused by Cold!

By 'Cold' I mean, for example, cold weather, or a cold wind when you aren't wearing enough, or cold water after exposure to which you don't dry off, put on clothes and warm up quickly enough.

However, the cold can come from other causes, described below.

As you'll see, the symptoms aren't much fun. Fortunately I don't see it very often, but I've diagnosed and treated it when people complained of, for instance, cystitis, headache and back pain. So it covers a whole range of conditions.

By the way, although there is often discomfort along the channel shown in green dots on the right, the Liver meridian also extends internally, round the genitals, through the abdomen, to the stomach and gall bladder, through the lungs, the neck and throat to the eyes and vertex, with another link to the cheek and inside of the lips.

Symptoms of Liver Channel Cold Stagnation

  • Pain in the lower abdomen: can be stabbing or boring, but is more often heavy and dragging
  • In men, a distending, heavy, dragging pain or straining sensation in the groin or testes 
  • In women this is felt in the lower abdomen over the bladder or in the vagina
  • A bearing down pain in the testes or lower abdomen
  • Similar pain is sometimes felt in the torso
  • Headache caused by this syndrome is usually quite severe and constricting, often felt at the vertex or on the sides
  • Pain is relieved by warmth and, to a lesser extent, rest
  • Scrotum or vagina may be cold and contracted, and better from warmth
  • Aversion to cold
  • Thirstless or much less thirsty than normal; prefers hot drinks 
  • Urine pale
  • Diarrhoea, or loose stools 
  • Movements are slow
  • Speech is slow
  • Mood is withdrawn. Don't confuse this mood with that of Stagnant Liver Qi!
  • Tongue: pale and moist with a white coat
  • Pulse: deep, wiry or slow

The main Key feature is the contracting pain or distending sensation in the lower abdomen, often referring down to the scrotum or vagina.

The pain is better for warmth.

Aetiology of Liver Channel Cold Stagnation

The cause is Cold, which can arise from external or internal causes.

Externally, it can be due to exposure to cold weather or cold circumstances (though theoretically any kind of weather could produce the symptoms). It can occur from wearing too few clothes, a common problem where fashion demands it, or from getting wet, even on moderately warm days, then allowing the cool breeze to blow you dry.

Internally, this may arise when there is deficiency of Yang, which occurs usually only after a period of time, such as after a serious illness, or where there has been a condition of dampness for years, or in old age. It can occur suddenly, or at least much faster, after heavy lifting or extra-ordinary physical effort, but here there would also be cold, invading after you exhausted yourself.

Cold has a particular characteristic: it contracts. It also has a tendency to 'descend' symptoms, in the same way as heat makes symptoms ascend, but in the opposite direction.

So here the pain is usually in the lower abdomen, which is where the Liver Channel is said to be ‘distributed’ or round the sexual organs. Whereas heat speeds up Blood circulation, Cold can lead to stagnation of Blood, then pain.

Hence the improvement from heat, which can come from hot compresses, warm hot water bottles, warm drinks, and so on, including a hot bath. Acupuncture needles with moxa can get right down to the acupuncture point which needs help, and warm it.

Treatment of Liver Channel Cold Stagnation

Disperse the Cold and calm the Liver. Moxa is excellent for this! 

Other Liver syndromes

Read about the main Liver syndromes by clicking on the following:

Liver Functions in general including Liver Qi Stagnation

Liver Blood Deficiency

Liver Blood Stagnation

Liver Channel Cold Stagnation

Liver Damp Heat

Liver Fire

Liver Wind

Liver Yang rising

Liver Yin deficiency

Consult an Acupuncturist?

If you live in the Edinburgh area of SE Scotland, where the author of this site and the book described below works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist. If further afield, click on BAcC.

Return from Liver Channel Cold Stagnation to Liver functions.

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